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Professional Learning Program

CFA Institute offers Professional Learning (PL) to our members to help you cultivate your curiosity and advance in your career. We encourage our members to record at least 20 credits annually to stay current with changing practices and evolving industry demands.

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Invest in Yourself

Participate in qualifying PL activities designed to contribute to your knowledge as an investment professional and lifelong learner. To earn your recommended 20 credits, including 2 Standards, Ethics, and Regulations (SER) credits each year, choose activities that:

  • are educational in nature,
  • relate to learning topics derived from the Global Body of Investment Knowledge (GBIK®), or
  • are geared toward increasing your knowledge, skills, and abilities as an investment professional.

In addition to the opportunities offered through CFA Institute and local societies, a range of activities may qualify:

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    Self-Study

    Take a self-directed approach by choosing content relevant to your job, selecting the formats you prefer, and setting your own pace.

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    Employer Based

    Claim PL credit for any in-house or eligible on-the-job training you receive through your employer.

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    Third-Party Offerings

    Live events, university courses, webinars, technical readings, and more opportunities outside of those delivered by CFA Institute or local societies may be eligible for PL credit.

How to Earn and Track Your PL Credits

  • One PL credit is equal to one hour of educational activity.
  • Credit may also be earned in half-hour or quarter-hour increments (rounded to the nearest quarter hour).
  • The minimum credit amount that can be assigned to any activity is 0.25.
  • If applicable, SER credit is a subset (either in part or whole) of the total credit earned.
  • For such activities as readings and reviewing content, calculate credit hours earned using one of the following methods:
    • Clock time: Allocate the actual time you spent engaged in the educational activity
    • Generalist readings: Allocate 2 minutes per page
    • Specialized/highly technical readings: Allocate 4 minutes per page

No single self-study activity may earn more than 20 credit hours (e.g., reading a single textbook should qualify for no more than 20 credits).

See examples of qualifying credit activities for more information.

Use the one-click functionality available on our website to claim credit directly from PL-eligible content. Use your PL Tracker to add credits for other PL-eligible activities you've completed.

We automatically enter PL credits after you have completed the following prequalified activities: 

Events 

  • Attending CFA Institute conferences
  • Attending prequalified programs or events offered through local societies and select organizations

Exams 

  • Passing the CFA® Program Level I, II, and/or III exam
  • Passing the CIPM® Program Level I and/or II exam

Volunteer 

  • Participating in CFA Institute committees or other eligible volunteer opportunities


You will receive an email notification each time your online record has been updated.

Content that helps you stay current in the areas of ethics, professional conduct, standards, laws, and regulations relevant to an investment professional may be eligible for SER.

All relevant CFA Institute content that is eligible for SER credit will be clearly marked and can be claimed with the one-click functionality on our website.

Explore our Ethics content, and for additional third-party activities you complete, see examples of qualifying credit activities for more information.

When you renew your CFA Institute membership, you can indicate your participation by attesting to completing at least 20 hours of PL, including 2 SER, for the membership year. Your annual attestation makes you eligible to receive recognition from CFA Institute for completing PL.

After you have earned more than 20 PL credits, including 2 SER credits, you can carry forward up to 20 additional PL and 2 additional SER credits.

Email us at professionallearning@cfainstitute.org so we can assist you in applying your credits to the next year.

Access the PL Guidebook

Get an overview of PL and find additional information about how to earn and calculate credit, determine eligible activities, and gain recognition for your dedication.

Download the PL Program Guidebook (PDF)

Awarding Your Dedication

We applaud the hard work of our members who pursue lifelong learning. When you renew, we will ask you whether you can attest to earning the recommended 20 PL credits, including 2 SER credits, for the membership year. In recognition of your commitment to continuing professional development, we offer our members the following.

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    Digital Badges

    Members who have attested to 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 consecutive years of PL receive a digital badge from Basno, our digital badge provider, to share on their websites or social media accounts.

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    Milestone Certification

    After claiming their digital badges, members who have attested to 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 consecutive years of continuing professional development can claim a digital certificate through Basno. Members who have reached 15-, 20-, 25-, or 30-year milestones can request a printed certificate.

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    Participation Certificate

    All members who participate in PL can request a printable electronic certificate of achievement.

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    Achievement Notification

    You can request that we send an email on your behalf to notify your employer, friends, and family of your continuing professional development achievement.

Browse the Collection

Explore our collection of educational resources designed to help you stay competitive in the investment management industry. Filter by topic, format, or product series to find your next PL activity.

Browse the Collection

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